Samsung Galaxy J6+ (2018) Review - Worth the PHP 9,990 price tag?

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Amidst their myriad of releases the past month, Samsung released a sub PHP 10K smartphone, the Galaxy J6+. Here's our full review.
Samsung Galaxy J6+ (2018) Review - Worth the PHP 9,990 price tag?
Samsung Galaxy J6+ (2018)

The Samsung Galaxy J6+ sports a great design that is one of the best in this price range. It has 2.5D glass-like panels at the front and back that gives it a sleek and premium look.

Now, we will check out how it fared for the last couple of months I used it as my daily driver.

For our review part 1: Samsung Galaxy J6+ (2018) Unboxing and First Impressions

Display Quality

The 6-inch HD+ IPS display looks great but can be brighter
The 6-inch HD+ IPS display looks great but can be brighter

The Samsung Galaxy J6+ has a relatively smaller 6-inch 2.5D curved IPS display at 1480 x 720 HD+ resolution. It has also a 274 pixel per inch pixel density. This is a more traditional display as it has no notch up top.

It has a slightly big forehead and chin which is a surprise since more and more devices in this price point showcase an updated design with smaller bezels and bigger screen-to-body ratio.

At first, I thought the 720p resolution of the display will not bother as I have used a lot of devices with the same resolution but there is something about the IPS panel that seems murky for me. It can also only play 720p videos in YouTube.

Black text on white background is works well but white text on colored background seems blurry. It may be an isolated case but I thought it is worth noting. On other aspects, in terms of color reproductions it tends to be on the cooler side of things with whites showing a bit of bluish tint.

Brightness is not a problem indoors and under artificial lighting but it can be a struggle to use it under daylight.

It has 5 points of touch which is sufficient enough for gaming and multitasking.

Audio Quality

Single speaker at right
Single speaker at right

The Samsung Galaxy J6+'s speaker is found at the right side of the device just above the power button. The volume is average but can be easily overwhelmed by ambient noise. However, if you are in a quiet place, it is more than enough to fill the room with audio.

The Galaxy J6+ has a headphone jack and a speaker found above the power button

The placement is a bit problematic for me, personally. I almost always cover it accidentally and muffle the audio completely. This is a personal thing though but it can definitely benefit from better speaker placement in my opinion.

It also comes with the Samsung proprietary earbuds which works well for a freebie as expected.

To experience better audio, use or buy your own Hi-Res earphones or headphones.

Mic for calls are okay. Recordings are decent.

Battery Life

7 hours and 54 minutes

The Samsung Galaxy J6+ has a 3,300mAh battery that managed to last 7 hours and 54 minutes during our benchmark with LTE on and brightness and volume at max.

Real world usage is much longer with around 10 - 12 hours of battery life depending on how busy the day gets. My daily usage includes a lot of social media and YouTube browsing via 4G LTE/WiFi, some games and usual communication stuff such calling, texting and emails.

Charging time from 18 percent to 100 percent takes around an 1 hour and 45 minutes. The phone and charger does not get that warm as well which is always a plus.

Camera

Dual-cam
Dual-cam

The main camera setup of the Samsung Galaxy J6+ consist of two sensors. It has a 13MP f/1.9 sensor and a 5MP f/2.2 sensor. It has AF and LED flash. Camera modes include Panorama, Pro, Beauty, Live Focus, Auto, Stickers and Continuous Shot. The Stickers are a cute addition with face masks and stamps adding a bit of fun to your photos.
The camera UI
The camera UI

The Pro mode is as bare bones as it can get with manual settings available for just ISO, EV and white balance. Some pretty essential manual controls are missing such as manual focus and shutter speed. ISO only goes from 100 to 800. The LED flash a bit lacking as well as it does not cover much at darker scenes.
Camera settings
Camera settings

Performance is great on scenes with great lighting. Auto focus is snappy too which makes it a good point and shoot companion. 

Day shots come out as crisp and colorful. The Live Focus mode allows you to adjust the amount of bokeh your photo has which is good since the max setting does not look that good.

At night and low light situation, you will start to notice noise on the photos especially low light indoor shots. There is no dedicated Night Mode here which is a bummer but you can adjust the ISO in Pro mode. Shutter speed adjustment is not present though.

Overall, the rear camera experience leaves a lot to be desired. There are other phones with better cameras like the Redmi Note 5 and Honor 10 Lite at this price point.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1
Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Daylight 3
Daylight 3
Daylight 4
Daylight 4
Indoor 1
Indoor 1
Indoor close-up
Indoor close-up 
Indoors, close up, dim light
Indoors, close up, dim light


Close-up, low light
Close-up, low light
Focus shot, low light
Focus shot, low light
Indoor low light
Indoor low light
Night shot
Night shot

For selfies, it has an 8MP f/1.9 sensor. Modes include Selfie Focus, Normal, Stickers and Wide Selfie. It is a great sensor that produces images with good color and sharp details. The lowlight selfies it took are good but can be improved since it has washed out colors and a fair amount of noise. The modes, however, is kind of gimmicky in my opinion.

The Selfie Focus mode is not your typical portrait mode that simply blurs out the background. You have to hold the phone at arm's length to achieve the effect. I though it was just a guideline on how the system works. However, the background blur will not take effect if you don't do it properly. 

Same goes for the Wide Selfie. Since it does not have a wide angle lens, you have to slowly pan the phone from left to right. Unfortunately, having a shaky hand and all, I was not able to do it properly. It always say that I pan the device too fast even if I do it slowly.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Indoor 1, good lighting
Indoor 1, good lighting
Indoor 2 less ideal lighting
Indoor 2 less ideal lighting
Low light 1
Low light 1
Lowlight 2
Lowlight 2

Performance

Low benchmark scores
Low benchmark scores

The Samsung Galaxy J6+ has a Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, Adreno 308 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. We believe that the SD 636 could have been a better choice for the processor though.

Mutitasking and daily usage is good. Surprisingly, the 3GB of RAM holds up pretty well. But as expected, there will be some performance hiccups from the Snapdragon 425. For the price Samsung asks, you would expect something with more power as the J6+ competitors has better processors such as the Snapdragon 636.

During extended usage, you will that device starts to slow down. Moving from one app to another becomes slower too. Performance extensive apps such as Chrome and Facebook buckle here and there. Fortunately, there are no incidents where apps needed to be force closed. Playing Mobile Legends, AOV and PUBG Mobile is possible, however, the device tend to heat up enough to be uncomfortable.

The UI

The toggles and settings app are straight forward and streamlined
The UI

It is running Android 8.1 Oreo as well. The OS is snappy and intuitive. There is not much bloatware or intrusive skins. It looks sleek and streamlined which makes it a fun experience. There's no lag as well when navigating which is always a plus.
Other settings
Other settings

Other features

The fingerprint sensor and face unlock are both hit or miss. Face unlock works most of the time even in the dark. The fingerprint sensor, on the other hand, is really spotty. I had trouble unlocking the phone with the fingerprint sensor most of the time which prompted me to just use the good ol' PIN code instead.

Connectivity and telephony is what you should expect at this price range. The 4G LTE is good. The GPS is also accurate since it has A-GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou.

Samsung Galaxy J6+ (2018) Specs

Display: 6-inch 2.5D curved IPS screen w/ HD+ 1480 x 720 resolution at 274 ppi
CPU: 1.4GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor
GPU: Adreno 308
RAM: 3GB
ROM: 32GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/1.9 + 5MP f/2.2 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/1.9
Battery: 3,300mAh
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz), 4G LTE Cat 4, Bluetooth 4.2 ANT+, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, Colors: Red, Gray, Black
Dimensions: 161.4 x 76.9 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 178 g
Price: PHP 9,990

Pros - Great design and build, good display, good battery life, accurate face unlock
Cons - Underwhelming processor, speakers can be improved, camera modes are lacking

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy J6+ is an intriguing smartphone for PHP 9,990. It has that premium feel that most Samsung devices have.

The cameras are great and it has a decent battery life as well. We believe that Samsung can do better in terms of their choice of processor on this one. Snapdragon 425 is an OK processor for a sub PHP 6K device but not for a sub PHP 10K device. 

Build/Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 3.75
Camera - 3.75
Performance - 3
Average - 3.75/5
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